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Patterns of British Overseas Investment in Land, 1885-1913

A. J. Christopher
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Vol. 10, No. 4 (1985), pp. 452-466
DOI: 10.2307/621891
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/621891
Page Count: 15
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Patterns of British Overseas Investment in Land, 1885-1913
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Abstract

British overseas investment in land in the period 1885-1913 reflected the changing opportunities offered to investors in virtually all parts of the world. These ranged from purely speculative gains to land for the promotion of productive enterprises such as plantations, ranches, mines and timber concerns. The distribution of British overseas investment exhibits the growth of the world-economy, which prior to the First World War was dominated by British financial institutions. Changes took place in the era of High Imperialism reflecting the relative waning of American interests as an investment boom took place in Latin America, Africa and notably tropical lands, both within and without the British Empire. British commercial interests were global in spatial terms, reflecting a period of free trade unhindered by political boundaries. Money was placed to best advantage regardless of the political régime of the country concerned. Thus Russia, Mexico, South Africa and Rhodesia received the disproportionate attention of British investors prior to 1914 as a result of the range of landed resources which these countries offered to the British economy.

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